tv Today in Washington CSPAN February 7, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm EST
shutting down. they had grown cotton, pomegranates, other things. these were real coveted projects -- products. the soviet invasion cost infrastructure to be destroyed, factories that process cotton, for example. by the time the soviets had left, afghanistan had discovered a few things. first, that all this infrastructure had been destroyed. infrastructure had been destroyed. secondly, they had destroyed products like orland and pistachios and etc.. there were drug suppliers who were looking for a place where poppies could be grown. predictably one where the government was unstable, center
to a lot of debris and wear a black market could flourish. afghanistan qualified on all three of these points. in that sense, and not -- i think it could be a good analogy with a number. pohichost: here is a tweet. is there any connection between the troops being prone to do these drugs? guest: it is not as great a problem there like in vietnam. it is true that some of the isaf soldiers have been using drugs. and did you do -- and they do drug testing. some of these guys literally
wander off the reservation after being struck out and are not to be seen again. host: robert draper is the author of a recent article in "national geographic." we appreciate you coming in here today. that is all for "washington journal" this morning. we will be back tomorrow at 7:00 eastern time. thanks for joining us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> thanks for joining us on this monday, the very seventh. the result we have coming up for you on the c-span that works today. president obama will be talking about jobs and the economy. he is addressing the u.s. chamber of commerce. the business could has been critical of him in the past. you can watch that live here at 11:30 a.m. here on c-span. we will also open our phone lines to get your thoughts on the president's comments. and we have more today with robert gibbs. that will also be live right here on c-span. right now, more events across the c-span network. right now, a discussion on immigration policy as to by the brookings institution. it started about an hour ago and continues live on our companion network, c-span2. >> tonight, karen evans and timothy car on the ability of
the u.s. to shut down the internet and deborah wheeler on the impact in the middle east. feddis tonight on c-span2. >> every weekend, experience american history on c-span3. it is 48 hours of american events in first-person story. history bookshelf features the best known history writers of the bus -- past decade. and it traveled to important battlefields. every weekend visit college classrooms across the nation as professors delavan and to america's past during lectures and history. of joy and curators, collectors and historians -- and join curators, collectors and historians.
american history tv on c-span3 all weekend, every weekend. pixar schedule on line and how -- and signed up to have them e- mail to you using the c-span alert. now from -- former vice president dick cheney, the keynote speaker at a banquet saturday celebrating the 100th birthday of ronald reagan. his remarks are just under an hour. >> good evening. i am delighted to come participate here in the functions of the center as well as the reagan not 100 celebration. it really is an historic occasion because it has given all of us an opportunity to think back and reflect on president reagan and what he
meant to us and to the country. what i have here are a few remarks. it is short. but i wanted to say something appropriate at the outset and then it is my understanding that frank and i are going to do a sort of interview format. and you will ask questions and i will give sparkling answers. [laughter] except for those questions that i do not want to enter. [laughter] but it is always nice to get out here in santa barbara. we had an ice storm yesterday down along the rio grande. if you can believe that. i am busily working on my memoirs. i have a deadline creeping upon me. if i have not seen a lot of daylight recently. but i cannot think of a better place to come for inspiration than to come to begin country. people tell me they look forward to reading the book, which will
remind me that i need to finish writing it. [laughter] in fact, i can tell you that it is going well. i am enjoying the work and a trivia in the bookstores this fall. [applause] right now i am deeply into my years as vice president and let's just say i'm not having writer's block. there's plenty to write about. being out this way makes me appreciate all the more what a privilege it was to know reagan. even my first impressions were a little colored by the politics of the day. if i have been asked to sign on as president ford -- i had been asked to sign on as president for's chief of staff.
-- president ford's chief of staff. outside of a movie screen, my first glimpse of ronald reagan was a 1974 trip to los angeles with president ford. i was in the room when the two of them met. dressed in their tuxedos before going down at century plaza. this was just before they went downstairs to attend a republican fund-raiser. i believe they were sizing each other upon for the privilege of the battle of the 1976 nomination. i remember being a little distracted because i was making some last minute travel arrangements for the president. but busy as i was, if i saw enough of governor reagan that like to know that we would have plenty to worry about if he decided to get into the race. not many of you were around back then, so it is hard to convey
the contention in republican circles as rating is geared up to challenge forward. it was a big deal and the fight for delegates never stopped until the big day of our national convention. in that convention i was on the aside. i worked for jerry ford. i have the greatest respect for him and i watched him hold the country together in the aftermath of watergate. taking the presidency from a sitting president is a tough thing to do and in the end not even ronald reagan pulled that one off. i liked very much the idea of putting governor reagan on the ticket. although, it is probably just as well that it did not happen. in the next four years, everything came together to set the stage for the reagan presidency. and arguably, it took the carter presidency to release set the stage for governor reagan's election in 1980.
by 1980, all of us were reaganites. [applause] wyoming only has one congressman. it is a small delegation, but we like it that way. i ended up serving in the house republican leadership all of the eight years that this president was in the white house. those were great days when we have a republican president, a leader like ronald reagan and people like frank working for him and so many other close friends. we had some great folks up on capitol hill as well. these days, a new year even liberal commentators reminiscing about the reagan years -- in a way that does not always ring true to me. they speak of it as a gentler
time in politics when supposedly, debates were more cordial and opponents on capitol hill were unfailingly civil and respectful toward the president. i hope i am not the solution the anyone, but i do not quite remember it that way. [laughter] in some cases there was a cordiality that did allow for some bigger accomplishments. the president and speaker o'neill got together to save the social security system from collapse. but among the opposition in congress, president reagan also have to deal with a much tougher players. if they had warm feelings for governor reagan, president reagan by then, it did not always show in their tactics. later in his second term when there was -- there were major policy differences over iran- contra, i watched all of that as the ranking member on the select committee that was formed to investigate iran-contra and i have rarely seen in politics get rougher then i saw then.
it is certainly true that we attach a certain good feeling to memories of the 1980's, but that has little to do with the conduct and spirit of the president's opponents. america remembers the time that women in the because there was a gentleman in the white house. for all of his geniality, ronald reagan himself was pressed into political battles and he did not resent the exertion of debating and fighting for what he believed in. he expected it. eight years as a governor of state, his time as a union leader in hollywood had toughened him and made him the evidence that he was. he understood what was at stake in the great debates over taxes and the sizes and power of the federal government and over the strength of america's military. reagan was a man unsure of himself and his abilities, but more than that, he had confidence in the people in -- the people themselves off when big issues were riding on a good
sense and character. , as he said -- as he said in his first inauguration, i do not believe in a faith that will fall on us no matter what we do. i do believe in a fayed that will fall on us if we do nothing. of course, the worst fate that could come to america was a lack of resolve and that the size of years of the cold war. if there is any instance in history when the presence of one man made all the difference and for the good, it would surely be ronald reagan standing down an expansionist empire and selling it would not gain another inch of ground. margaret thatcher called him a providential man. and i found a lot of people who agreed when i got to the pentagon as secretary of defense. more than anything else, it was the reagan military buildup, that assured our victory in the cold war. he left that and much more to
his successor. president bush and i had all we needed to trebek the army of saddam hussein. we deployed half a dozen troops, but what was left to us from reagan was so decisive that ground operations to ". when it was over, i called bel- air and said, a "thank you, mr. president." [applause] in thinking of how to some of his accomplishments and all that he was, "thank you" is still a good place to start. he was also quite idealistic and
he proud of that quality in the american people he inspired a great affection that even great men cannot claim by right, but goes to the truly good. kindness and decency marked his entire life long before he journeyed here to california and long after he returned here from washington. in remembering his final years, we might also encourage for the gallant and manful way in which he left us. there is much more that could be said. frank santelli hyundai will turn to that in a moment. -- frank donatelli and i will turn to death in a moment. -- turned to that in a moment. history has taken the measure of president reagan. he stands tall in memory and let us always be grateful that such
a man came along when this nation and all the world needed him most. thank you very much. [applause] >> mr. vice president, thank you very much for those remarks. let me explore a couple of facets of president reagan and some of the things that you said. recent polls show that americans now think that ronald reagan is the most successful president in the post-world war ii era, and indeed, there are surveys that show him ranking just behind washington and lincoln in terms of all three american presidents. what is it about reagan that
makes him even more popular today than when he left office? and what are those special enduring qualities that he seems to have for america? >> you are going to get me in trouble with all of the other presidents. [laughter] the way i think of it is that he has worn well. you mentioned in your opening remarks that he dealt with the issues, and took on tough problems. when you think about the end of the cold war and how it ended, i have always been absolutely convinced and i am to this day that, in effect, what happened was that the soviets decided they could not keep up with the united states once ronald reagan laid the markers on that we were going to rebuild america's defenses and go with the strategic defense initiative and
made the commitment. the soviets were unable to contemplate a situation where they would have the resources to keep up with us and in the end, they folded. it was peaceful for the most part. president reagan developed, i think what a good relationship with gorbachev. we got into the first butcher administration and the collapse of the old soviet union -- first bush administration and the collapse of the old soviet union. there was a world shaking set of events that he helped precipitate. now we have had enough time after 22 years so that we are able to have more perspective than we did before. these are lasting achievements.
these are not momentary battles over a piece of legislation. i always thought margaret thatcher had it about right when she described him as a providential man, a man who was there when we needed him. >> that is the way history turned out, that the soviets, indeed, could not keep up with us, that he was able to establish a relationship with gorbachev. i remember the time it was my job to stay in touch with conservatives and there was a lot of grumbling at the time from conservatives that reagan was being snookered by door -- biblby garbage of. from your vantage point in congress -- by gorbachev. at the from your vantage point in congress, did you have concerns that may be reagan was being spurred by the end -- was being snookered by gorbachev?
>> i would like to say that maybe for a book. [laughter] one of the first things i did at that time was an old television interview on the old anderson novak show where i predicted the demise of garbage of and said he was never going to arrest. that caused some problems -- never going to last. that caused some problems over at the state department. i was a skeptic. i thought for a long time it was very important to stay focused on the traditional relationship, if you will, that gorbachev basically did the right thing in the end in the sense that he could have called out the troops. he could have smothered eastern
europe in a way that his predecessor had in hungary in 1956 or to cause a lot get in 1968 and he did not -- or czechoslovakia in 1968 and he did not. i believe he deserves a lot of credit for that. and i think he deserved -- he established a relationship of trust with ronald reagan. as much of a skeptic as i was, i have to sam and president reagan got it right. >> and how about this strategic defence initiative? something that was not talked about much prior to his speech in 1983 when he sort of just log in to the east-west discussions. how much impact you think that have on the peaceful end of the cold war? >> i think it had a big impact. it said that the united states was going to use its technology and our lead in a lot of areas
to be able to build defenses against incoming missiles. they were worried we were going to build a system so big that it could defeat their deterrent. that was a major concern. the fact was the estimates on the soviet economy were inflated. in effect, what had happened -- our recallable i have an economist working for me who got it right -- i recall i had an economist working for me who got it right. but the estimates were based on its economic report -- economic performance and those were inflated numbers. when they were building defenses trying to keep up with the united states they were not spending just 10% or 15% of their gnp, but something closer
to 25% or 30%. if you look at what happened, i think one of the things that we did well in the bush administration is that we continued to push hard on defenses and we abrogated the abm treaty. that was essential to get the restrictions lifted, if you will, that interfered with what we were trying to do in terms of testing missile defense. we did not -- we do not have a plan to build a massive shield that would intersect all of the soviet missiles, but north korea now has missiles. iran has missiles and is trying to get weapons. we are in a position where we badly need to defend ourselves against these regimes that have a handful of missiles they could
launch a crisis. we did successfully test our system a couple of times during the bush administration, but we need to do more. but you can trace them back to the commitment that president reagan made when he said we are going to do sdi. >> during all of your time in congress, unfortunately republicans were in the minority and yet reagan was able to get through many bills, tax bill, aid to the contras, etc. what techniques to use in order to win consistently 40 or 50 democrats and keep all the republicans together to put those majorities forward? >> there is a store that i love to tell that captures the essence of the reagan legislative strategy. i think it was a tax bill that came upo and it was going
through the house first because of his or tax bills originate. what came out of the democratic controlled ways and means committee was a goal but a lot of us on the republican side did not want to vote for. trent lott was part of the cobol and myself and a couple other people. we did not want to go directly to the president, so we arranged for their role to be defeated. and when it came up and we killed it. and becher conservation down on them -- and about god consternation down on pennsylvania avenue. -- and the ... consternation down on pennsylvania avenue. he had to go down and preside at a memorial service for some of our service men that had been killed. when he walked into one of those
large hearing rooms in the rayburn building full of all the house republicans, he walked in and began talking about patriotism and sacrifice and what it means to be an american. it was so effective there was not a dry eye in the crowd. then he stopped and said, now gentleman, about that tax bill -- [laughter] hamas people were jumping all over the room -- people were jumping up all over the room saying, with you, mr. president. he switched 70 votes in that session. they never said another word about the tax bill other then, "now gentleman, about that? ville." -- about that tax bill." [laughter] [applause] >> again, it is always easy with the hindsight of history.
the first tax bill, the 25% cut across the board over three years, that was a hugely controversial at the time because from a static analysis that would seem to increase the deficit. how, from your vantage point, again, as one of the most conservative members of congress, how did you approach to analyzing the bill? did you have any concerns, or did you become a supply-side advocate by that point? >> by then i was a supply-side advocate. i spent too many hours with jack kemp. >> did you get a word in edgewise? >> eventually. [laughter] i was a great believer in the tax dollars -- the tax bill. the private-sector creates jobs and wealth and opportunity in the united states. and it's not vote projects on the local highway or whatever it
may be -- and it's not the local projects on the highway or whatever it may be. it was a very important piece of legislation. one of the secrets to the president's success was that the democratic caucus looks different in those days, too. there were a significant number of what we called boll weevil democrats. and the of guys like phil gramm from texas. he had been elected as a democrat to the congress the same year i was a, 1978. but he believed in a lot of the fundamental present -- principles that president reagan believe in. he joined on and we had a number of bold weevil democrats, conservative democrats who worked with dozens to pass that legislation -- to work with us to pass that legislation. in the first couple of years we actually had a situation that even though the republicans were
the minority in the house, our conservative democratic friends on the other side of the island -- we put together a majority on budget and tax policy and so forth. it was also a big tribute to ronald reagan. and the democrats, as i recall, overreacted and penalize some of the guys on the other side of the aisle like phil. i always think this is a principled move on his part. he resigned his post and went back home and ran a special election as a republican to replace himself. in other words, he switched parties, but was honest about it. he did not continue to camouflage himself as a democrat, if you will. i always thought that was a principled move. it was the kind of thing that helped a lot. nowadays i would say the
democratic party has drifted further left. you've got somebody like nancy pelosi as speaker, or she was until last november. the san francisco democrats ran the house -- and i'm getting a little close to home out there. i have to be careful what i say. but the fact is, a lot of those seats are now held by republicans. members either converted or were replaced by republicans. that is how we get the numbers that we have today. there are not many bowl weevil of democrats left. >> we have some prepared questions on different topics. we have two questions on egypt. bob in california and patrick, a student at san diego state university they both have a question about the current
uprising. i will try to pare phrase their questions. in light of the bush doctrine -- paraphrase their questions. in light of the bush doctrine of trying to spread democracy around the world, how much it can that be attributed to what is going on in egypt right now? and howard is the administration -- how is the administration trying to manage the transition jemaato democracn that country? >> the way i think about it is that i think it is important for us all to remember that this issue is going to be resolved by the egyptians. and there are a lot of people with opinions outside the government. the commentators on cable news shows, but the bottom line is in the end, whatever comes next in egypt will be determined by the people of egypt. we need to remember that.
i also think it is important for us to -- we look at it purely in terms of u.s. interests. we clearly believe in and most in -- administrations endorsed the idea of democracy and freedom. but there are also other issues that are important of the same time. i will say at the outset i have known president mubarak for many years. ivers started to work with him in the first week of the gulf crisis in 1990 -- i first started to work with him in the first weekend of the gulf crisis in 1990. forces were deployed so that we could defend saudi arabia and the gulf and eventually liberate
kuwait. my first thought was in egypt to meet with president mubarak. there was consternation throughout the region and many of the arab nations signed on with the united states. the united nations supported it. congress supported it. the egyptians and the assyrians sent forces as part of our coalition. but president mubarak was right at the outset. he signed up for overflight rights and so we could give our aircraft into the region for access to the suez canal. he sent two divisions of the egyptian army to fight alongside americans to liberate kuwait. he has been a good man, a good friend and ally to the united states. we need to remember that. it is also important to remember when you get into the
circumstances that you tried to have an open channel of communication, but that it is private to wherever you are dealing with out there. it is very hard for some foreign leader to act on u.s. advice in a visible way. you tell me as the president of the united states that i've got to do this and you do it publicly, that if i do that, my people think i am not my own man. i do the bidding of the americans. it is exactly the wrong way to go. there is the a reason why a lot of diplomacy is conducted in secret. there are good reasons for there to be confidentiality in some of those communications. i think president mubarak needs to be treated as he deserved over the years, because he has been a good friend not only of the united states, but a lot of the other folks that we do
business with and work with and have dealt with, too. you are looking for balance, but i do hope there is a channel of communication. >> you think mubarak can survive? >> i do not want to make a prediction because i do not know. but i also think that there comes a time for everybody when it is time to hang it up and move on and for someone else to take over. it is true when you are running a company or if you are a vice president or if your president. and you get to the point where the years add up. the burdens become tougher to deal with. but as i say, that is a decision that only the egyptians can make. i think they will handle it in an appropriate fashion. i like egypt.
i am fascinated by the country, by the history. and as i say, they have also been good friends of the united states, and we need to treat all of them with the respect that they deserve. >> another area that our questioners want to know about is afghanistan. the president has said that he is going to have his own surge in afghanistan, a commitment of additional american forces there. general patraeus is now involved and is running our forces there. from where you sit, it is the president doing enough to ensure that we are successful in afghanistan and pakistan? >> first of all, i think the patraeus appointment makes a lot of sense. general patraeus is one of the most capable officers.
in all of my time, including as defense secretary, he is a great man and will do a good job. the surge of forces that the president has committed to implementing is basically a plus. the key about afghanistan is that is a very difficult set of circumstances you have there. it is one of the poorest countries in the world. it is a leading producer of heroin. it has never had a strong central government. you have always had warlords to some extent operating in places around the country. you will not get a full-blown democracy overnight in a place that is as deep in the hole as afghanistan is under normal circumstances. on the other hand, we have got to get it right because it was the base of operations for al qaeda when they killed 3000 americans on 9/11.
it is where they started from and where they train. it is very important that they not referred once again back to a safe harbor for a sanctuary, if you will, for terrorist groups trying to kill americans. it is a worthy objective. i would like to see the administration not get tangled up in to ordaz -- the tangled up in deadlines. i think that is a huge mistake. it says to the people over in afghanistan and in the region that the united states is not going to stay the course. if they just wait as out, we will packet in and go home. i think that would be a big mistake and to some extent raise questions in the minds of a lot of people about the worth of american commitments and whether or not we are prepared to do what we need to do. in the end, we cannot send forces every place in the world. we have limited resources.
wheret is also important t we do operate that we health the locals get into the fight and be able to control their own circumstances, be able to maintain the sanctity, if you will, of their own sovereign soil. pakistan is a related problem because they are neighbors of afghanistan. a lot of goods flow back and forth across that border. something to remember about pakistan, they have a large population and a strong streak of islam is fundamentalism in part of the population and a significant stockpile of nuclear weapons. if pakistan ever goes to the dark side, we will have a big problem on our hands. we cannot afford not to be involved in that part of the world. we need to be there. there is an awful lot at stake. which is strategy you use, those
are all subjects for debate. but we cannot walk away. if we did once before. we were actively involved when i was on the intel committee in the house in helping them against the soviets. it worked and drove them out of afghanistan and then everyone turned and walked away. the next thing you know you have a taliban government in afghanistan. in 1996 they invited in osama bin laden and he set up shop. the net result of all that, of course, was 9/11 and a loss of 3000 americans here at home. this is not something we can just wash our hands of and say, and "there, it is over with. we are done." we do not have that option. >> others want to know if you could talk about your views on terrorism and presenting a terrorist tactic in america.
you have been critical of the president in not taking it vantage of some of the techniques that were available in the previous administration. have things gotten better in that regard? >> the thing -- the reason i spoke out about their counter- terrorism policy after they had been there just a short time frame was that very first week in office, president obama was talking about how he was going to scrap the terrorist surveillance program, the enhanced interrogation techniques and so forth. the thing that really offended me and got my dander up was they started talking about prosecuting the people out at the agency that had been carrying out our policies, policies approved by the president of the united states, and the national security council. policies that have kept us safe for seven and a half years. and they were talking about going in forcing these folks to
hire lawyers and prosecuting them for having followed the lawful orders of the president of the united states. think about what kind of precedent that sets. when you have people dead are executed, people that are told to perform a duty on behalf of the president and then the next president is going to prosecute them for what the last president told them to do. it is a huge mistake. i sense that they have backed off on some of their more outrageous proposition. and i noticed guantanamo is still open. [laughter] [applause] the notion that we bertalan the programs that we have in place
is simple -- that we broke the law on programs that we have in place is simply not true. we went carefully to the justice department, which is what you do with these things, we went and got their view on the statute provided for, things like the terrorist service program, for example. this is the one that let us intercept incoming calls and communications between suspected dirty members of al qaeda and kabul or wherever and who they were contacting in the united states. we put the program together and we briefed the congress on it. we got senior leadership, chairman and ranking members of the intel house -- a of the into zero committees in the house and senate. we had it down to the white house -- had them down to the white house and i used to brief them on a regular basis. some controversy developed over the program and we sat them down
and brief them on what we were doing and showed them the results and asked them, you think we ought to continue this program and there were unanimous. everybody there said, absolutely. and i said, you think we should come to congress and ask for a specific grant of authorization for us to continue doing this? and they said, absolutely not. if you set it up there, it will leak and you will blow the program. you will tell the enemy what it is we are doing to read their mail. that was unanimous. nobody objected in either party and in either house to what we're doing and how we were doing it. it all came of later -- came up later in the 2008 campaign and so forth. i am hopeful that we will see is a stolid, steady hand -- solid, steady hand at the tiller and we
will not see the kinds of policies that were talked about during the last campaign or that the administration said they were going to pursue when they first got into office. >> let me ask you a question about domestic policy and the bush administration. a lot of people at this conference have made this comment to me and i know you have heard it. so, it is not new to you. but a lot of conservatives think that all of the good things the bush administration did, and there were many of them, the one area where you could have done better is controlling government spending. they say that undermined our brand as republicans and led, in part, to the very bad results that our party have in 2006 and in 2008. you have a comment on that? [laughter] >> well, i cannot argue
completely against it. the fact of the matter was, we had a republican congress for several of those years and when the question would come up on whether or not you ought to veto the spending bill, for example, the response oftentimes on the hill was, what would you accept? we want to work with you, not against you. if you say you're going to veto that bill, then we will not send it to you. the we will send a different one. there was a natural inclination, if you will, because we have both the white house and the senate, that sort of tried to cap the notion of out and out conflict. i think we could have done a better job on spending. i will be the first to admit it, frank. i was always concerned, for example, that we got into prescription drug benefits, the
objective was that we will grant additional benefits and modern medicine without a prescription drugs is not much. anybody that has health problems, and i am walking proof of it, prescription drugs are often a key to survival. it has to be part of the package. but in return for that, with one significant reform in the medicare program and begin to get a handle on medical costs and the huge entitlement program that has yet to be dealt with. we got a prescription drug benefit, but none of the reform, for example. i think the criticism has some justification. i think the other thing i reference, though, is 9/11. it had a huge impact on where our priorities were. after 9/11, we felt, and believed buried deeply, and i
think most of the american people agreed with us at least initially, that we have to undertake a lot of activity to make this nomination save. everything from setting a common security department -- make this nation safe. everything from setting up a homeland security department to other things. i think we saved thousands of lives that otherwise would have been threatened if we had not responded as aggressively as we did. i am glad to see that the congress now -- i believe the republicans appear to be serious about going after some of that spending. >> richard from santa barbara has a question here. you may want to save this for your book also. he asked if you could give us any details on your meeting with then governor bush when he asked you to run with him as his vice
president. were you surprised? did you accept immediately? what, if anything, can you tell us about that meeting? >> i have talked about that before, so i will talk about it again. i had been approached earlier in 2000 by one of then governor bush's's associates about whether i would allow my name to be considered for vice president and i said no. i said, i've got a good job. i am happy living in dallas. i have had health problems. that will be an issue. i am in the oil business. that will be an issue. we are both now residents of texas. that is an issue because we cannot have the texas electorial vote the cast with two guys from texas as president and vice president. if i had to go back and register
as a wyoming president. it is a good thing that we did because if i had stayed in texas, we would not have been able to count the texas soetoro- ng votel -- the texas electoral votes and we would have a bush/lieberman administration. joe is not a bad guy. [laughter] he called me and asked me to help of -- help him on the search. and i said, sure, it is a couple of months and that i can comeback and you would want to do, which is run the company. right after 4th of july just a couple of weeks before the convention i went down to the ranch outside crawford.
this is before they had the new house bill. they had a little bitty wooden frame house that he and laura were living in out of the ranch. we set -- we spent the morning reviewing the candidates and then have lunch just the three of us and then he took me back a on the back porch. it was about 120 degrees in the shade that day. he turned to me and said, you are the solution to my problem. i took that as a threat. i needed to work harder to find somebody. but i told him that at that point. he did not offer me the job, but he made it clear that he wanted to have me be considered. he wanted my name on the list. and i told him that what i would do was go run the traps and see what i would have to do if i were to make myself available, in effect. i have to worry about who is going to take over halliburton when i leave. i have to get registered in
wyoming. we have to get the doctors involved and the medical community and a long list of things that have to be addressed. and i said one other thing, i also want to come down to austin and sit down with you and whoever else you might like, karl rove, somebody else, and tell you all the reasons why you should not pickney -- pick me. why i made that choice. and he said ok. -- why i am a bad choice. and he said ok. i set down with the president and carl and said, i am wyoming. only three electoral votes. we went through the whole exercise. he listened. karl rove agreed with me. [laughter] and i went back of $2 and within a day or two, i got a phone call
early in the morning. i was on a treadmill and it was the governor saying, ok, you are my guys and i want you to run as my vice-presidential candidates. and i want youuidy to run as my vice-presidential candidates. i have a suspicion that he never gave up after that initial request. he has never admitted that to me. maybe he will after he sees this. [laughter] but it was the thing that changed my mind, the thing that affected my judgment on it was that i worked with him over two or three months where i could observe his mind working about what he wanted in a vice president, what he was looking for. this was a guy who was not going down the normal path for picking vice-president, where you take a guy like lyndon johnson, for
example, and then you bury him. they did not even let him go to meetings with the senate democrats when he was vice president. use-vice presidents. us and them to funerals or whatever -- you stash vice presidents. you send them to funerals or whatever. he was really looking for someone who could serve alongside him and be a participant in the process, get actively engaged. and he liked my background and my experience and my resonate. -- my resume. i became more convinced when he said, look, you can sign on and be a major player and my frustration. get involved in whatever you want to get involved in -- in my administration. get involved in whatever you want to get involved in. it sounded very attractive, frankly, put in those terms.
he kept his word. if we ran integrated stabs. we avoided a lot of the pitfalls that a lot of administrations have not avoided. and it was not clear sailing all the way. we had our differences. we argued about those and i always got to voice my view. he always made the decisions. it was all things considered, for me, and absolutely fascinating experience. i loved it. [applause] >> we have just a couple of minutes left, but there were a couple of questions i want to get to. we have a lot of young people in the audience, mr. vice president, and a lumber of them ask questions along the lines of, what advice you have for them who are interested in politics for those who want to
pursue a career in public service? >> do it. [applause] from the standpoint -- i started out and was going to be an academic. i thought i wanted to be a schoolteacher. not that there is anything against school teachers. it is honest work. but i got to washington on a .ellowship, internship there were not too many back then. there were only two, for example, in the state of wyoming government in those days. but now there are tremendous opportunities out there all the time for young people who want to start out and get some experience and participate. put your name on the ballot. there is a need for candidates. start at any level. and you do not have to be president of the united states the first time how to have a major impact on events.
you can do it with your local community, the school board or the state legislature. whatever moves you. it is a privilege that most of us come to appreciate, the more we travel and get out a run the world and see what is going on out there. you come back home to the united states of america and it is whatever we make of it. and you've got the opportunity, indeed, the obligation to spend time and effort and resources serving. if that turns you on, there are a lot of ways to serve. it does not have to be -- and whatever you think of the political wars. you can bring in young people and give them some exposure to
the legacy of ronald reagan in a place like this. it is a tremendous privilege to be able to live in a society and a country like that. and it will only be what it has been for all of us to the extent that we get actively involved. we have an obligation to try to pass that along to the next generation in the best possible shape we can leave it. the young folks have an obligation to pick up the burden and see if they cannot do it better than we did. >> the final and most important question that is on everybody's mind, who is going to win the super bowl tomorrow? >> packers. [applause] >> i'm not sure there is unanimity on that. >> i don't think so. >> would you join me in thanking
the vice president for being here? [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [applause] >> i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [laughter] >> on the 100th anniversary of his birth, look at the life and presidency of ronald reagan on line at the c-span library.
>> every weekend, experience american history on c-span3 starting saturdays at 8:00 a.m. eastern. is 48 history bookshelf features the writers.wn in history rid about key events that shape the civil war. visit college classrooms across the country. join collectors and historians behind-the-scenes of historic sites on "american artifacts." on c-span3, all weekend, every weekend. get our complete schedule
online. >> coming up, president obama speaking to the u.s. chamber of commerce on jobs and the economy. we will have that live for you fall by year off phone calls when it gets under way at 11:30 right here on c-span. we have this until the president shows up at 11:30. shows up at 11:30. let's take a look at a peace in "usa today" talking about the president's address at the chamber of commerce. obama faces siness leaders.
corporations write their own regulations. the regulation is there should be no regulation. they are masters at obtaining what they once a through the government'. and if president obama had any hutzpah backbone, he would be in their face and represent the individual taxpayer. again, thank you for c-span. host: caller from illinois. welcome. caller: i think the previous gentlemen stole my thunder. president obama, against the promises he made, has a lead corporations right of the health care bill. fincial regulatory -- everything that he says he would do, he got done the opposite.
some of the elements that please businesses -- elevated business leaders to posts, richard daley as chief of staff, and general electric ceo jeffrey immelt. good morning. caller: how are you doing? host: good, thanks. do you think the best -- president should court but business committee? caller: heat should courted siness but he should court small business, not big business -- he should court business but small business. the new goveor of iowa has taken over. he has a $1 billion surplus but instead of saying, wow, the democrats left us in good shape, i will continue to do what they are doing, he decided it is not good to have a billion dollar surplus.
he is going to cut poor people another $400 billion. what i did not like even worse is the fact that he is going to cut corporate taxes, which means the $4 billion -- the billion dollars, the $400 million that he is looking to cut and do away th will go to some corporation to come in here and provide $9, $12-an-hour job. the unemployment weight -- rate will grow and we will have deficits in the iowa, just like the united states experience. the same recipe. when bush came in he had a $400 billion surplus when he took over and by the time he was done wave have been having deficits ever since. i really believe the whole country should be looking toward small business. they are the ones that generate
the jobs and they will generate good jobs. they are not expecting a big tax cuts. they just what an opportunity to compete. -- want an opportunity to compete but they had money in the iowa for small business. the first thing he cut. how crazy can you get? lousy jobs, taking money from our country -- i mean, our state. almost reminds me of the music man where this guy, i believe, as you remember, he was -- he came into iowa and he tricked a little town into buying a whole bunch of the instruments they did not need. host: because you are from iowa, we will go to this story. iowa caucuses are 364 days away.
he each -- attributes this to monday, history -- history showing the record of early starters in modern politics is not encouraging. also the internet and social media change things. and the sarah palin factor -- she has been in korea about her political plans. -- coy about her political plans. the public and expect the campaign to emer and open soon. a little bit of iowa news. but the question is, should the president be courting the
business community? he makes his first address as commander in chief to the u.s. chamber of commerce. >> if we make america the best place to do business, businesses should make their mark here in america. they should show set up shop here and hire all workers and pay decent wages and invest in the future of this nation. that is their obligation debt that is the message i will be bringing to american business leaders at the chamber of commerce on monday. that government and businesses have mutual responsibilities. and if we build these obligations together, it benefits us all. our workers will succeed, our nation will prosper, and americ will win the feature in this century, it's just like we did in the last. host: president obama possibly weekly address. should the president be courting the business community? so far callers have n been enthusiastic. let us hear from dana, a
republican from baltore. caller: i think we have to remember the president is not just commander in chief but executive in chief and we can't just take a completely negative view of business but have to make america a favorable climate fo business if we also want jobs. we can't be critical of the one hand, saying the president hasn't done enough to create jobs and then on the other hand say that he should not engage business partners. i think that americans are concerned about what sacrifices will be made, so there is a bit -- good business climate. having said that, there's got to be a dialogue and understanding of what business is truly need to be competitive in the united states. fo anybody thinking the president should not engage business leaders, just look around and find how many products you can buy that are based in america -- made
america outside of your car. go to yourselves, clothing stores, and see what is produced here and realize there is a more favorable climate for business outside the united states. until it changes, all the corporate wealth being held right now is not going to dave -- be in the american business sector. there are two sides of this and it is the president's job as the executive to bridge that divide between the, the worker and corporate executives who need to figure out how to move forward. host: mike wrtites on twitter -- a baltimorealler -- john, democrats' line. good morning. caller: thanks for c-sn. go morning. it aids could tell us what you think. caller: yes, i feel that what the president is doing, he has to do to a certain extent.
big business helps fuel this country. and it fuels labor. what i don't appreciate to a certain extent is hes -- on them too heavily. we here in baltimore and throughout the united states, we are the citizens. and i feel that the jobs should be here first as an american. we should concentrate on the citizens and not too heavily on business, big business, especially. when we give at money to export local jobs overseas and they are making money off of us. host: joe brought up the gap between big business and a small business. let us look at the "usa today" article that says the reaction is likely to vary depending on the size and type of business.
that is the executive vice president making those comments. lancaster, south carolina. ken on the independent line. caller: it does not make any difference whether they court business because they will do what they do anyway. deregulate down to 1% -- we can't compete with jobs in china at 50 cents an hour. it doesn't make a difference. the loopholes for corporate taxes is crazy. ludicrous. general electric did not pay corporate taxes last year. even exxonmobil. i am kind o skeptical. like the lady who called before -- he did not even write the althcare bill. i voted for the guy but i am
beginning to doubt the guy. and the war in iraq -- i mean, it is going down. but when we leavet is going to be civil unrest because he can't go outside the green zone. afghanistan -- the russians tried it, alexander agreed. the taliban is not going anywhere. host: we will be talking about afghanistan later on in the show at around 9:15 a.m. eastern time, looking at a "national geographic" article about opium production. on twitter -- let's look at the caucus from "the new york times" national page. the president of the u.s. chamber was one of the first people gene sperling called after president obama named him last month.
i believe you should demand the services to create jobs and we need to fix our perimeter such as china and everybody else that we do trade with. until that is fixed, you are not going to have decent paying jobs and decent benefits in this country because we are almost creating a two-class society, one for the wealthy and one for the poor. sold out the worker all the way down the line. thank you. host: asheville, north carolina, john of the republican-led caller: honestly, i think the best thing obama could do to help the business community is get out of the way. i heard several people call it here talk about how exxonmobil and g bobby don't pay taxes. that is absolutely ignorant. fact of the matter is, most of these large corporations pay more in taxes to various
government agencies then they make in profits. that is a fact. look it up. in fact, i was thinking about this the other day, at a time when gm was going bankrupt, they were producing and selling as many cars as toyota but their overhead costs were so high that they could not compete because they had to comply with regulations and pay taxes. so, the best thing the government can do is get out of the way of all businesses. i have a friend of mine who owns a small business. he can't find a supplier for what he sls in the united states because of costs so much money to make the products that he wants to sell in the united states and that he has to go overseas. host: let's just say it less regulati, let's leave it there. there is a story in "the washington post" that picks up
let's take another look at that article as it breaks down some of the regulations thaare under fire. but first, tommy in tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. good to be watching your show today. i think mr. obama needs to make motherhood the highest-paid salaried jobs in the country. american women drive 81% of the economy. it makes more sense more money in the hands of women because women mean business. thankou and have a glorious day. host: san jose, california. rickrepublican. caller: hi. my question is -- you know, it
is a simple question. what do we expect this country to make and what do we expected to sell? host: what do you think the answer should be? caller: i guess the answer should be, more products, bringing more jobs back to the country. host: how you think that to play out athe president talks to the chamber of commerce? he will be there later this morning. what message do you want to hear and deliver? caller: i don't expect him to deliver anything that has any worth. i did not vote for him -- i would be honest. but i don't see -- another round tables. as the business people, the men and women in this country, who have delivered themselves of prosperity of prior years into
the country, to come back and say, you know what, we can make something and sell something. jobs that come back are fine. i am unemployed. i was in the oil business for 26 years. making see we are progress in the manufacturing. we could drill for oil. that is one thing we have in our reserves that we could sell. host: president obama will deliver remarks at the u.s. chamber of commerce this morning at 11:30 a.m. eastern time. we will carry it live here on c- span. on twitter, one of our viewers write --
our question is, how far should the president go to the business community? should he be courting members? we also have been talking about regulations that have been targeted. let us look at the "washington post" breakdown o some of the industry groups who responded to a request by representative darrell issa. asking him how regulations can be pared down. in the financial category -- requiring companies to disclose how much the chief executive is paid compared to how much the typical worker is paid. some say it goes too far. also giving shareholders nonbinding say on executive pay, including golden should parachutes. requiring companies to claw back bonuses and other incentive pay from executives if it turns out the company inflated earnings. that has come under fire. making it easier for shareholderso nominate candidates for corporate boards
to run againsthe incumbents, directors nominees. also under scrutiny -- labor laws, transportation, environment and energy loss, including regulating greenhouse gases and limiting hazardous air pollutants. all the things chairman darrell issa's committee will be looking at, certainly on thursday. it in ohio, shirley on our democrats' line. caller: hello? hi, dear. first of all, the last caller who said he did not vote for obama, thank god he did not vote for obama. i did because we don't need anybody like him because he is ridiculous. first of all, business was outed -- we don't have business, big or little. it don't take a genius. common sense is so uncommon. it just aggravates me. ho: what do you think should be done? what do you think the solution is? caller: the solution, dear, would be for more than us to
get -- women. it to make a long story short. i know you have bigger and better things to do, dear, but i am in this community. we need small business is for sure. without regulations, we will have vigilante's out here doing everything. it is scary. baby, i'm done. thank you. thanks for your time. host: kevin, democratic caller. battle creek. caller: i love the way you correspond, the back and forth with the callers. of course, a corporate business and big businesses, people that employ thousands and even millions of people, are great. we had those four years. but what have they done for the poor community? that is my point. i think we need to have a bigger
emphasis on smaller business. even the businesses in my community -- and i do not want to call the names -- here in battle creek, they hire through temp agencies and might understand, they will pay the time the agency to hire you. a year -- so you have to pay the agency portion of your hourly wage in order to be hired at that company. and being discriminated against, non-violent offenders. we need >> we are leaving this "washington journal" to go to president obama. he is being introduced by tom donahue, president of the chamber of congress. >> officially welcome the 44th president of the united states, barack obama. mr. president, your visit
continues a century-old tradition of presidents addressing the chamber stretching back to william howard taft, suggested the creation of this institution in 1912. we are honored you're here today to continue that tradition. you have probably noticed that next year we'll have our 100th birthday. before you we have representatives of state and local chambers and companies large and small, as well as members of our staff and our very distinguished board. they are here on behalf of 3 million businesses that make up the chamber of commerce federation. let me add, mr. president, that getting a seat here today was one of the hottest tickets in town. let me reform -- a limit
reaffirm the commitment to working with you and your administration to advance our shared objectives. first and foremost, the compelling need to strengthen our free enterprise economy, create jobs, and put americans back to work. our focus is finding a common ground to ensure america's greatness in the 21st century. america works best when we work together. ladies and gentlemen, in that spirit of corp., it is my pleasure and high privilege to present to you the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much.
thank you so much. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. please, have a cseat. thank you, tom, for the gracious introduction. i want to make a few other acknowledgments, to the chamber board president, thank you for helping to organize this. there are some members of my administration i want to make sure are introduced. bill daley is here, my chief of staff. [applause] senior advisory, valerie jarrett. she has gotten tremendous advice from you. secretary ray lahood, our transportation secretary. ambassador ron kirk, working hard to get trade deals around the world. karen mills.
my director of and the national economic council, gene sperling is here. our export-import bank chairman. elizabeth littlefield. and i want to acknowledge a good friend, paul volcker, the outgoing chairman of the economic advisory board. thank you all for being here. [applause] tom, it is good to be here today at the chamber of commerce. i am here in the interest of being more neighborly. [laughter] i strolled over from across the street. maybe if we have brought over preferred cake when i first moved in, would have gone off to a better start. i will make up for it.
the truth is this isn't the first time i have been to the chamber, or the first, we have exchanged ideas. i have sought advice from many of you. the rescission led to some -- the recession led to many decisions. that meant to -- that led to layoffs and closings that were painful. it meant a series of emergency measures that i would not have undertaken under normal circumstances. but they were necessary to stop our economic from falling off a cliff. on some issues like the recovery act, we found common cause. on other issues, we have had some strong disagreements. i am here today because i am convinced that we can and we must work together.
whatever differences we may have. all of us share a deep abiding belief in this country. a belief in our people. a belief in the principles that have made the american economic the envy of the world. america's success did not happen overnight and it did not happen by accident. it happened because the freedom that has allowed good ideas to flourish and it has allowed cabalism to thrive. it happened -- it has allowed capitalism to thrive. opportunity should be there for anybody who is willing to reach for it. it happens at every juncture in our history. not just once or twice but over and over again. we came together as one nation
and did what was necessary to win the future. that is why i am confident that we will win the future again. that is the challenge we face today. we still have by far the world's largest and most vibrant economy. we have the most productive workers. the finest universities and the freest markets. the men and women in this room are living testimony that american industry is still the source of the most dynamic companies and the most ingenious entrepreneurs. but we also know that with the march of technology over the last few decades, the competition for jobs and businesses has grown fierce. the globalization of our economy means businesses cannot open up a shop and produce goods were ever an internet connection
exists. -- businesses can now open up shop and produce goods where ever an internet connection exists. it is profitable for global companies to aggressively pursue these markets and at times to set up facilities in these countries. these forces are as unstoppable as they are powerful. but combined with a brutal and devastating recession, these forces have shaken the faith of the american people. in the institutions of business and government. smey see a widening cham of wealth and opportunity. they wonder if the middle class
rather than expand as it has for our lifetimes is in the midst of an exorable contraction. and we cannot ignore these concerns. we have to renew people's faith in the promise of this country that this is a place where you can make it if you try. we have to do this together. business and government, workers and ceo's, democrats and republicans. we know what it will take for america to win the future. we need to out-to build our competitors. we need an economy that is based not on all wheat consumed but will we make and will we sell around the world. we need to make america the best place on earth to do business. this is a job for all of us.
as a government, we will help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate and succeed. we will upgrade our transportation so you can move goods and information more quickly and more cheaply. we will invest in education so you can hire the most skilled, talented workers in the world. we will knock down barriers that make it difficult for you to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system. even as we make america the best place on earth to do business, businesses have a responsibility to america. i understand the challenges you face. i understand you are under incredible pressure to keep your margins up and to cut costs. i understand the pressures that are created by quarterly reports. i get it.
but as we work with you to make america a better place to do business, i am hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for america. ask yourself what you can do is to hire more american workers, what you can do to support the american economy and invest in this nation. that is what i want to talk about today. the responsibility we all have. the mutual responsibilities we'll have to secure the future we all share. as a country, we have a responsibility to encourage american innovation. companies like yours have always driven the discovery of new products and new ideas. you do it better than anybody. but what you also know is that it is not always profitable in the short term for you to invest in basic research.
it is very expensive. the payoffs are not always clear and they are not always localize. government has traditionally helped invest in this kind of science. planting the seeds. that is why we are making investments today in the next generation of big ideas. biotechnology, information technology, and in clean energy technology. we are reforming our patent systems. steve case is heading up startup america to help entrepreneurs turn ideas into new businesses and new jobs. i have proposed a bigger tax credit for all the research and development your companies do in this country. i believe that is a priority. we also have a responsibility as
a nation to provide our people with and our businesses with the fastest, most reliable way to move goods and information. the cost to business from outdated and inadequate infrastructure is enormous. that is what we have right now -- outdated, inadequate infrastructure pricked any of you who've been traveling to other countries, you know it. you see it. i want to put more people to work, rebuilding crumbling roads, rebuilding our bridges. i have proposed connecting 80% of the country with high-speed rail. getting high speed coverage in the reach of virtually all americans. you understand the importance of this. the chamber of commerce and the afl-cio did not agree on a whole
lot. tom donohoe and richard trumpke are not facebook friends. i did not check on this. but they agreed on the need to build a 21st century infrastructure. i want to thank the chamber to make more investments and to do so in the most cost-effective way possible. with tax dollars that leverage private capital and with projects that are determined by what is best for the economy. we want to invest in the skills of our young people. if we expect businesses to hire in america, america needs a pool of trained, talented workers that can out-compete anybody in the world. we are reforming k-12
education. we are making college more affordable and revitalizing our community college system. recently i visited ge, which is part with a local community college. students trained for jobs available at the nearby ge plant, they earned a paycheck and they have their tuition covered. young people can find work, and the entire region has become more attractive to business. it is a win-win for everybody. that is something we're trying to duplicate across the country. to make room for these investments, in education, innovation, and infrastructure, government also has a responsibility to cut spending that we just cannot afford. that is what i promised to veto any bill that is loaded up with
earmarks. i propose we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. this would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade. and bring spending down to the lowest share of our economy since eisenhower was president. that was a long time ago. it is not going to be enough. we're going to have to do more. the driving force on our deficit are entitlements, spending, and that will require both parties to work together. those are some tough problems that we're going to have to solve. i am eager to work with both parties and the chamber to take additional steps across the budget to put our nation on a sounder, fiscal footing.
by stopping spending on things we do not need, we can make investments on the things that we do need. the same way families do. if they have a fiscal problem, they don't stop paying for johnny to go to college. they cut out things they do not need patrick they still make investments on things to make sure we still will win the future. we have to make some smart choices. tough choices, but smart. we're also making government more consumer friendly. we're trying to run the government more like you run your business. better technology and faster services. in the coming months, my administration will emerge and reorganize the federal government in a way the best serves the goal of a more competitive america.
we want to start with the 12 that dealage6 agencies with exports. we should insure we are pulling in the same direction. frankly, with 12 different agencies in charge, nobody is in charge. we're going to fix that. a an example of making government more responsible. this brings me to the final responsibility. breaking down some of the barriers that stand in the way of your success. as far as exports, that means seeking new opportunities and opening more markets for your goods. i will tell you, i will go anywhere, anytime to beat a booster for american businesses, american workers, and american products. we recently signed -- [applause]
i don't charge a commission. [laughter] we recently signed export deals with india and china that will support more than 250,000 jobs here in the united states. we finalize a trade agreement with south korea. it is a deal that is unprecedented support from business and labor, democrats and republicans. that is the kind of deal i will be looking for as we pursue trade agreements with panama and as we work to bring russia into the international trading system. those will be our top priorities. we believe americans have the best products and businesses. if we're out selling, there's no reason why we cannot do better than we're doing right now. another barrier government can remove, and i hear about this
for many of you, is a burdensome corporate tax code with one of the highest rates in the world. you know how it goes. because of various loopholes that have been built in over the years, some industries pay an average rate that is four or five times higher than others. companies are taxed heavily for making investments with equity. yet the tax code paste companies to invest using leverage. as a result, you have too many companies making decisions based on what their tax directors say s instead of what their factories produce. that puts our entire economy at a disadvantage. we need something smarter, something simpler, something fairer. i want to lower the corporate rate and eliminate those loopholes to pay for it.
it does not add a dime to the deficit. i think it can be done. this brings me to the last barriers we are trying to remove. those are outdated and unnecessary regulations. i have ordered a government-wide review. rules on the books that are stifling job growth, we will fix them. we're cutting down on the paperwork that saddles businesses with a huge administrative costs. we're proving the way the fda approves it things like medical devices. -- we are approving the with the fda approves things like medical devices. i have ordered agencies to find ways to make regulations more flexible for smaller businesses. we have turned a tangle of fuel economy regulations into a
single standard that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gift card companies the certainty that they need -- and give car companies the certainty that they need. but ultimately, winning the future is not just about what the government can do for you to succeed. it is also about what you can do to help america succeed. so we were just talking about regulations. as we eliminate burdensome regulations, america's businesses have the responsibility to recognize that there are some basic safeguards, some basic standards that are necessary to protect the american people from harm or exportation. not every regulation is bad. not every regulation is
burdensome on business. a lot of the regulations are things that all of us welcome in our lives. few of us would want to live in a society without rules that keep our air and water clean, that consumers the coffins to do everything from investing in financial markets to buying groceries. when standards like these have been proposed in the past, opponents have warned they would be an assault on business and free enterprise. we can look at the history in this country. early drug companies argued the bill creating the fda were practically destroyed the sale of -- in the united states. that did not happen. although executives predicted having to install seat belts would bring the downfall of their industry predict auto executives. it did not happen.
the president of the american bar association to announce laws. none of these things came to pass. companies adapt and standards often spurred competition and innovation. i was traveling when i went to penn state took get some clean energy houses that were set up her i was with steve chu, my secretary of energy. he won -- he won a nobel prize in physics. you catch about one at a very four things he says in conversations. [laughter] but he started talking about energy efficiency and about refrigerators. he pointed out that the government set modest targets a
couple of decades ago to increase efficiency over time. they were well thought through. they were not radical. companies competed to hit these markets and they hit them every time and exceeded them. a typical refrigerator cost half as much and uses 1/4 of the energy that it once did. and you don't have to defrost and puts that warm water inside the freezer and all that stuff. it saves families and businesses billions of dollars. regulations did not destroy the industry, it enhanced it. if they are smart and well designed. that is terrible, and to work with you to think through, how do we -- that is our goal. we want to get rid of regulations that have outlived their usefulness or do not work. the perils of too much
regulation are matched by the dangers of too little. we saw that in the financial crisis. it wasn't good for business. even if you were not in the financial sector, it was not good for business. that is why with the help of paul volcker, we passed a set of common sense reforms. the same concept of health insurance reform. we cannot continue to accept the status quo that made our entire economy less competitive. we have paid more for person in health care than any nation on earth. nobody is even close. we cannot accept a system where insurance companies could drop people because they got sick or families went into bankruptcy because of medical bills. i know folks here have concerns about this law, and i understand
it. your instinct is if i have more laws, that will increase my cost even more. i understand that suspicion, that skepticism. but the non-partisan congressional watchdogs estimate that health care tax credits will be worth nearly $40 billion to small businesses over the next decade. $40 billion for doing the right thing to their employees. experts suggest that health insurance reform could save large employers anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per family. your employees and your bottom line. i have said that i am willing and happy to look at other ideas to improve the laws, including
incentives to improve patient safety and medical malpractice reform. i want to correct a flaw on small businesses. i appreciate the help of the chamber in doing that. we have to recognize that some common-sense regulations often will make sense for your businesses as well as our families as well as her neighbors in your co-workers. irresponsible it goes beyond recognizing the need for a certain standards and safeguards. if we're fighting to reform the tax code and increase exports, the benefits cannot just translate into greater profits and bonuses for those at the top. they have to be shared by american workers, who need to know that opening markets will lift their standard of living as well as your bottom line.
cannot go back to the kind of economy and culture that we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth in productivity just did not translate to rising incomes and opportunities for the middle class. that is not something we can legislate. it is something we have to take responsibility for thinking about. how we make sure that everybody has a stake in trade. everybody has a stake in rising productivity. ordinary folks and obscene their standards of living. ordinary folks end up seeing their standards of living increases. that is what jfk meant when he said a rising tide lifts all boats. too many boats have been left behind, stuck in the mud. if we are going to invest in innovation, that innovation
should lead to new jobs and manufacturing on our shores. the end result of tax breaks cannot simply be that new breakthroughs in technology are discovered here in america, but in the manufacturing takes place overseas. that, too, breaks the social compact. it makes people feel as if the game is fixed and they are not benefiting. -- not benefiting from the extraordinary discovers that take place here. the key to our success has never been just developing new ideas. it is also about making new products. intel pioneers the microchip. henry ford perfected the assembly line and put a generation to work in the factories of detroit. that is how we built the largest middle class in the world.
those folks working in those plants, they go out and buy a ford. they buy a personal computer. and the economy grows up for everyone. that is how we will create the base of knowledge and skills that propelled the next inventions and the next ideas. right now businesses across the country are proving that america can compete. caterpillar is opening in a plant to build excavators in sexist that used to be shipped from japan. in tennessee, whirlpool is opening the first new u.s. factory in more than a decade. the new plan in michigan to manufacture batteries. the company is moving to the united states. these companies are bringing jobs back to our shores.
that is good for everyone. if i have one message, my message is now is the time to invest in america. [applause] now is the time to invest in america. today, american companies have nearly $2 trillion sitting on their balance sheets. i know many of you have told me you're waiting for demand to rise before you expand. with millions of americans out of work, and demand has risen more slowly than any of us would have liked. we're in this together. many of our cells people are now forecasting a healthy increase in demand. i want to encourage you to get in the game. as part of the textile we negotiated, bes